Returns a narcissist who is exposed

Narcissism victims often suffer from "echoism" without their knowing it

Echoism can occur when one is exposed to abuse by narcissists for too long.

on December 14, 2018, 9.43 a.m.

We all know it: the feeling of having to please everyone. However, when particularly helpful people come into the vicinity of a narcissist, they can become "echoists". And that's problematic.

"Echoism" is the name of the psychological state when people are in a toxic relationship with narcissists - this can be the partner, a parent, friend or sibling. Echoism was made by the psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin in his book Rethinking Narcissism described in more detail, and in 2005 by the psychoanalyst Dean Davis first named. Very sensitive, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent people often become echoists because they always put the wishes of others before their own.

The concept of echoism comes from Greek mythology. Everyone knows the story of Narcissus, who rejected the love of others and fell in love with his own reflection. Less known, however, is the fate of Echo, who fell in love with Narcissus but was only able to repeat what he said. "Echoists have problems with having their own voice. They take in the needs and feelings of narcissistic people," writes the psychologist Malkin. They live in constant fear, lose their self-confidence and self-awareness, and do not take care of themselves.

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Do you suffer from echoism? This online test will tell you

People with narcissistic personality disorder are exploitative, arrogant, and lack a sense of empathy. "They are so addicted to feeling special that they lie, steal, cheat for it," Malkin writes. When compassionate people are exposed to this personality disorder in relatives or friends from childhood, they become the exact opposite of it: they are afraid of appearing selfish.

The psychologist estimates that 16 percent of the US population show narcissistic tendencies - so many will find themselves in the concept of echoism. He has developed a short online test for this purpose, which can be used to determine whether you have narcissistic or echoistic tendencies.

The therapist Donna Christina Savery notes in her book Echoism also the question of whether women are more likely to display echoistic behavior. She writes that many women unconsciously look for narcissistic partners and take on the echo role in the relationship because they are socialized in this way. And that is dangerous: because echoism has serious consequences on the psyche of those affected. Anxiety disorders and depression are just a few of them. But more research is needed here to find a definitive answer, says Savery.